AAPDEP’s 5th Ward Garden autumn planting under way in Houston

HOUSTON—On Saturday, September 18, 2010, the All African People's Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) and community members came together at the Fifth Ward Community Garden and Food Co-op to clear its rows of summer’s growth and prepare for a bumper fall crop.

After harvesting hundreds of pounds of fresh beans, okra, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, bell peppers, purple hull peas, onions, radish, collard, mustard, and turnip greens from its spring and summer crops, the workers are now planning for tilling and planting its fall crop.

For a first time effort by AAPDEP in Houston to carry out a major project as building the Fifth Ward Community Garden and Food Co-op into a showcase of people’s power and community uplifting, this was a major victory in the struggle for dual economic development and black power.

Houston AAPDEP was first organized in November of ‘09, following AAPDEP National Director, Dr. Aisha Fields, coming to town at SHAPE Community Center that October, and calling for the building of a local chapter.

It has been a bumpy road since then, but nevertheless it has been traveled well.

Our spring and summer crops taught us some lessons in harvesting, distribution of the produce and general farming principles.

Our thirty cultivated and planted rows were producing faster than we had anticipated, so that in some instances the food had to be given out haphazardly, instead of organized food co-op distribution practices.

This fall crop will be planned on a much more scientific approach with specific leaders on every level of the planting and growing food process.

But we still have to figure out what happened to our melons' failure to come to fruition.

Our fall and winter crops will consist of beans, broccoli, lettuce, snap peas, radish squash, tomatoes, collards, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mustards, onions, spinach and rutabega.

Without any government or non-profit funding, the group raised funds through fish fries, working games at Minute Maid Park where the Houston Astros play professional baseball, and other fundraising activities.

These fundraisers paid for rental fees of tilling machines, which were necessary to break the initial ground.

They bought shovels, hoes/aggies, water hoses, buckets, sharp shooters, paid water bills, seeds and plants and an assortment of other gardening tools and accessories.

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Since the seven months that the Garden has been it this Fifth Ward working class neighborhood, it has become a staple and a symbol of pride for the entire community.

Community people donated money, seeds, plants, and helped harvest and distribute the produce.

AAPDEP member Joseph Lee Burnett, who is the leader of the Garden work, is taking us into this fall planting endeavor with expectations that we will surpass our produce production of the spring and summer crops.

Working together, we will make it so and build a bigger and better Fifth Ward Community Garden and Food Co-op.

Note: AAPDEP’S 5TH WARD COMMUNITY GARDEN WILL SERVE AS VENUE FOR THE FIRST “ONE AFRICA, ONE NATION, MARKETPLACE FESTIVAL, SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 31, 2010. 3607 Brill St, Houston 281-974-2012

DIG IN DEEP!

BUILD AAPDEP!

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  1. Join Houston AAPDEP
  2. Donate money, seeds, equipment
  3. Come out and help work the garden

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Phone 281-974-2012 or Email omowale.uhuru@yahoo.com.

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